V for Vendetta Al-Lah Turca

V for Vendetta Al-Lah Turca

Good Morning, Turkey.

I am sure you are used to my economic analyses, which you won’t be getting today. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of the everyday routine – the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke.

But in the spirit of commemoration, thereby those important events of the past usually associated with someone’s death or the end of some awful, bloody struggle, a celebration of a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this May 19, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat.

There are, of course, those who do not want us to speak. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth.

And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance, oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censorship and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission.

How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable. But again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.

I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? The economic crisis, political instability, anger at the establishment. There were a myriad of problems, which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.  He promised you political stability, he promised you wealth, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.

Some 95 years ago, a great citizen wished to embed May 19 forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice and freedom are more than words; they are perspectives. So if you’ve seen nothing, if the crimes of this government, such as the murders of a 15-year-old boy and at least 301 miners, remain unknown to you, then I would suggest you allow the May 19 to pass unmarked.

But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek what I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me and your brothers and sisters outside the gates of Parliament, in Taksim Square, in cities and towns across Turkey, outside the sultan’s office in Dolmabahçe, and together we shall give them a May 19 that shall never, ever be forgotten.

This column was adapted from the protagonist’s televised speech in the movie “V for Vendetta.” I only changed it slightly. I find it extremely tragic that a monologue that is supposed to be about a fictional totalitarian government fits today’s Turkey so well.